View Full Version : The customer isnt always right.

Bryce W
09-12-2006, 10:55 PM
I was reading this article (http://ungeni.us/section/the_bar/crazy_customer_compendium_spoiled_rotten) (under the "Boxless" title) today where a student brough a Powerbook G4 in his home town before moving away for school. His Macbook died, he took it to a Apple store and they said it needed to be taken back to the repair depo.

Boxless was an incoming out-of-state freshman at the University of Texas. He bought a PowerBook G4 at the AppleStore in his home town about a week before moving to Austin for school. Shortly after arriving, and while his family was still in town, his PowerBook failed and he brought it in to my store on Monday morning. The failure was not serious, but would require a trip to the repair depot. When he asked about replacing it due to the newness of the computer, I explained that I could do so providing that he had all of the boxing and accessories.

Unfortunately, he had left all of the boxing and most of the accessories at home, several states away. Procedurally, this wasn't really a big deal. I could still return it, but there were some caveats. They had some applicable rebates for a printer and one of the back-to-school promotions. For one, returning the computer without boxing, we risked invalidating their rebates, and I would have to keep the new computer's box to return the defective computer... and, per the policy of the time, I could not give them the bar codes. I was perfectly willing to do this, but in good conscience had to tell him about the rebate issue and allow him to make the decision.

Boxless was furious. He used his cell phone to call his mom and, within my earshot, explained to her how I wasn't going to do anything for him and how his computer was just a paperweight, and then handed me his phone. His mom then blasted me for not helping him. After I explained the real situation, she calmed down slightly, but continued to demand that I replace it on-the-spot and guarantee to them that the rebate would be honored. After a while, she came into the store herself to "straighten this out" and management got involved to ensure her that my concerns about the process were correct. Their option was to get a replacement and take a chance on the rebates, or send it for repair and be certain about the rebates. None of this was acceptable to her, but nothing really stood out about the experience until his mother leveled with her priorities. He came in for help with his computer rather than going to new student orientation, and she was furious that we weren't putting his need to get to orientation above everything else. She wasn't mad at him for skipping a one-time, important event like orientation to handle something that could be done at any time. She was upset at us for being honest and delaying his return.

We eventually came to an agreeable solution for all parties, but I never shook the incredulity of their priorities.

Who would have told the mother that it was her problem that the son didnt goto the orientation?

Would you have tried harder for them or just say "those are the two options, take it or leave it?

Have you ever had any clients like this?

09-13-2006, 01:02 AM
I worked retail for a while so I seen this many times. I till them what I am allowed to do if they bitch I will ask my managers and then we will inform them of thier options. I would say Im sorry he didn't make it to orentation but this was not a fact I was given nor did I tell the son to come down that day.